In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) declined by 25% after rapid rollout of free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a study published in The Lancet showed.
Initially, researchers provided 3,700 participants at high risk of seroconversion with free daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (Truvada). MSM continued to enroll, for a total of 7,621 participants by the end of follow-up (12 months after completion of initial enrollment) -- an estimated 19.6% of MSM not living with HIV in the state.
During the 12 months before study start, 295 MSM were diagnosed with HIV; in the 12 months after the study was initiated, that number was 221. Recent seroconversions among those diagnosed dropped by 31.5% overall. A 23.5% increase in recent HIV diagnoses among people born outside of high-income English-speaking countries or Asia was offset by greater declines among other groups (e.g., 48.7% among those born in Australia).
"Rollout should be prioritized as a crucial component of HIV prevention in epidemics predominantly affecting men who have sex with men," Andrew Grulich, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales-Sydney concluded in a related press release.